Doddridge County man who engaged in shootout with police indicted on federal gun charges

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A Doddridge County, West Virginia, man was indicted on federal firearm charges after engaging in a shootout with law enforcement last spring.

Richard Edward America, III, age 45 of Salem, was charged yesterday by a Clarksburg grand jury with illegally possessing a small arsenal of weapons despite having a prior conviction for domestic violence. He was also indicted for possessing silencers that were unregistered and lacked serial numbers as required by law.

According to court documents, America fired shots at officers who were attempting to execute a search warrant at his house on May 5, 2022. Officers were there because they suspected that America had firearms on his property despite his prior conviction. America fled the scene but was later apprehended. Officers reported finding eleven firearms, two silencers, and assorted ammunition. Among the firearms recovered, officers seized an assault-style rifle in the area near where America fired shots at law enforcement.

“Oftentimes the most dangerous individuals encountered by law enforcement are those with histories of domestic violence,” said United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld. “We will continue to work with our state and local partners to bring federal charges whenever possible against gun-carrying domestic abusers.”

America is being held in the North Central Regional Jail and will appear in federal court on the charges in the near future.

The investigation was led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the West Virginia State Police; the Doddridge County Sheriff’s Office; and the Salem Police Department.

The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Wagner for the government.

An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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